An Iraq news outlet has reported that the country is taking steps to criminalise homosexuality.
In an interview with the Iraqi News Agency, State of Law coalition MP Aref al-Hamami confirmed the proposed legislation to criminalise homosexuality.
“Parliament agreed to collect signatures after returning to the session to legislate a law prohibiting homosexuality in Iraq,” he said.
“[To] prevent homosexuality and the perversions associated with it”.
In Iraq, ‘the lives of LGBT people are on the line’
While homosexuality has technically been legal in Iraq since 2003, a recent report by Human Rights Watch (HRW) and advocacy group IraQueer found that attacks on LGBTQIA+ people are commonplace.
The report found that LGBTQIA+ Iraqis are subject to abductions, torture, rape and murder- largely by government-sanctioned militia groups.
Furthermore, the majority of victim-survivors surveyed were able to identify the armed group behind the attack against them.
LGBT rights researcher Rasha Younes said that LGBT Iraqis live in constant fear of being hunted down and killed by armed groups with impunity.
Additionally, LGBTQIA people are subject to arrests and violence by Iraqi police, making their lives “unliveable”.
“The Iraqi government has done nothing to stop the violence or hold the abusers accountable,” Younes said.